Voters will determine if selling the former Sharp Nursing Home in Sidney is the right move for the county.
At the Aug. 14 Sharp County Quorum Court meeting JPs voted unanimously to approve the third reading of an ordinance calling for the vote. The first two readings took place during the July meeting. Registered county voters will cast their vote Nov. 7.
The nursing home in Sidney closed in March and the property reverted back to the county. Before the property can be sold a county vote is required.
The vote is necessary because on two previous millage increase proposals the facility was referred to as a hospital. The sale of city, county and state owned hospitals must be approved by voters.
The building is 25,000 square feet and includes three outbuildings with 500 square feet each and nearly eight acres, Sharp County Judge Joe Stidman said.
The property appraised for $202,000, Stidman said. For the sale to go through the county must obtain at least 75 percent of the appraised value, he said.
Stidman, who lives in Sidney, said he has had several individuals and groups inquire about the property. He is concerned about waiting until November for voters to decide if selling is the right thing to do. By then some potential buyers might have moved on to other properties, he said.
Stidman said a recent storm caused some minor damage to the building. Minor work on the roof and to a couple windows is needed, he said.
JPs unanimously agreed to establish the Sharp County Sheriff's Office Drug Enforcement Fund with a $10,000 balance.
The money is to be used to target illegal drug use in the area. The Third Judicial District Drug Task Force is dealing with declining grant funds to operate undercover operations, Stidman said. Many grants that were used for the force are now being redirected to homeland security programs, he said.
The fund, which consists of funds from circuit court civil penalties, will be administered by the sheriff's office. The fund is not to contain more than $10,000 at any time. It will be replenished with deposits appropriated by the Quorum Court. No money will be taken from the county general fund, Treasurer Wanda Girtman said.
Stidman appointed the county budget committee consisting of JP Darrell Kehrli as chairman and JPs Dennis Burton, Greg Prenger, Roger Stark and Buell Wilkes.
Stidman also appointed a county salary committee consisting of JP Prenger as chairman and JPs Burton and Kehrli, Girtman, Alisa Black, Gene Moore and John Qualls.
The JPs also approved an appropriation ordinance allowing for:
* $3,646 in vehicle repairs for hail damage for the sheriff's office. The money has already been received from an insurance company.
* $1,200 for telephone installation in the new health department. The installation was not covered by the construction grants.
* $6,646 for the county Office of Emergency Management for a pandemic flu grant. The grant is to be received from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
* $34,000 for a natural gas pipeline feasibility study. The money will be received from the federal Rural Development Agency and the Delta Regional Authority.
* $7,580 for homeland security. So far, $7,004.50 had been awarded from the federal government.
Stidman reported the county is using a blend of bio-diesel in equipment to save money on fuel costs. Using the blend is saving about 3 cents per gallon, he said. Fuel costs for July averaged 61.33 cents per gallon for diesel and 69.46 cents per gallon for gasoline more than the costs during the same time last year.
Clever Stone of Clever, Mo., submitted the low bid for state aid chip and seal projects in the county. The bid was $188,839.67. The county is responsible for 10 percent of the cost. Nelsonville Road is ready for paving. The county road department is continuing to work on Martin Creek Road.
The county has contracted with MTM Solutions to complete the GIS Centerline Mapping Project in the county.
South Sharp County Ambulance District voted to allow Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service to serve the district after Nov. 15, the date LifeCare Ambulance's contract is set to expire. SRPAS is already serving that district from the LifeCare station near Cave City to fulfill the remainder of LifeCare's contract.
Road signs notifying motorists of the 35 mph speed limit on unpaved roads in the county have been erected on major roads entering the county. The court passed the ordinance establishing the speed limits in 2004.